Principal's Report 

Principal’s report term 3 2022


Exams.  Just the word can be enough to induce stress and anxiety for some people, often long after the examination itself has passed.  Yet they remain an important part of our educational landscape as they provide a consistent and equitable way of determining how well each student has learnt the necessary skills and knowledge. 


As we come to the end of term 3 we also close out our first examination period in three years.  I have been impressed over the course of the week by how well the Suzanne Cory students have managed the stress of their period and applied themselves to demonstrate what they have learnt.  The purpose of these examinations is not to judge students on how much they have learnt, or how well they can perform under time pressure.  Rather they are a learning experience that give students the opportunity to reflect on the specific skills needed to prepare for and sit examinations.  For some students, in Years 11 and 12, they need to apply this learning rapidly:  Unit 3&4 examinations start in just 40 days.  Our Year 9 and 10 students have more time, but the lessons they learn from this exam period will be crucial to their future success.


As we enter the term break I encourage all families to take the time to reflect with their children on the past term, including the exams.  Not in relation to grades obtained, or questions answered correctly, but rather in terms of the skills developed and the life lessons learned. Over the course of the term in assemblies I’ve reflected with students on how important failure is to learning and improving.  Failure is essential to growth; we all learn much more from what we get wrong than from our successes.  As the great Thomas Edison once remarked, “I have not failed. I have found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”  


Throughout the term I hope all our students have found “ways that don’t work” as well as things that do work for them. Whether that is the way they prepared for exams, the way they participated in class, or the way they got involved in clubs and student leadership across the school.  It often feels unpleasant to dwell on the things that went wrong, particularly if you have a tendence to feel it reflects upon your self-worth.  But it is only by examining those mistakes and missteps that improvement can be made. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” 


Martha Goodridge-Kelly





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